IMPROVEMENTS are set to occur in Post Office Lane in the coming months in an effort to reduce antisocial behaviour in the notorious alleyway.
Councillor Jason Hamling said Orange City Council’s crime prevention committee had approved a concept plan of small-scale changes, which will include removing the bench seating and the tree-guards in the middle of the lane to join the lane’s two sides and deliver a more open area.
“The council has had productive talks with the City Centre and the operators of Gloria Jean’s and they’re happy with the idea of trialling moving their tables and chairs to one side of the lane rather than the former location in the middle which people had to walk around,” he said.
“The idea of murals on the walls is also being looked at and new seating along the sides, along with finding a space where musicians from the conservatorium could perform.”
More detailed plans and costings will be put to councillors at a future meeting before work starts.
The plan will be a short-term measure while the council investigates a motion from councillor Russell Turner earlier this month to introduce commercial opportunities in Post Office Lane.
“If the laneway had an enclosed roof or even had multi-level access to the City Centre there would be tremendous opportunities for future development, but that would take a lot more work and feasibility studies,” Cr Hamling said.
Gloria Jean’s owner Max Riaz, who previously removed his furniture from the lane due to antisocial behaviour, said he would support more activity.
“Obviously, that adds to the competition, but competition is a way of life,” he said.
“You could have artists and stall-type enterprises, I can visualise that quite easily.
“I would love to put my furniture back out and I want to have alfresco dining more like what you can find in Sydney.”
Mr Riaz said he would also encourage buskers.
Orange Business Chamber president Tony Healey said pop-up promotions areas for events like FOOD Week and the Orange Wine Festival, florist and newspaper stalls and charity shops would be positive additions in the longer term, provided they could be secured after hours.
“It’s a really good idea to bring it up so the whole public can use it and make it exciting,” he said.